Between Sheikh Abduljabbar, his Detractors, by Mahdi Garba

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I didn’t want to say anything on the man in the eye of the storm Sheikh Abduljabbar his acolytes, renegades and foes. Not for any reason more than my personal decision to stay away from any controversial religious discourse, except if it is guided by maturity, reason and devoid of polemics.

But, I am part of his history and I think posterity will judge me for keeping mum over this debate or face-off that is degenerating.

So, I should say something. As I have every right and to do so. Since about two weeks back, I have been monitoring this topic as someone interested in the subject being discussed.

One might have their own reservation regarding Dr Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, as we are all humans and none of us is infallible. But, no matter what, Abduljabbar is a brilliant, up and coming, vibrant, outspoken and independent Islamic scholar who took the path of his father, Sheikh Nasiru Kabara, the leader of the Qadiriyya Sufi order in Nigeria.

For about half a decade, I have been intermittently listening to his lectures and Qur’anic exegesis, a session what he tagged ‘Jauful Fara’. Sometimes I download them from Telegram and some occasions from Khalid Dankoli or Ashabulkahfi Social Media Team’s Facebook page.

So the scholar, his speeches as well as his style of preaching are not alien to me. I don’t need any person to trim an audio or video clip of a verse he misquoted from the Qur’an to know him.

Renowned writers, teachers and public speakers are all victims of slip of tongue, malapropism, stuttering etc.

So, the detractors of Abduljabbar who thought they could use that to tar him as ‘an illiterate’ knew their mission was dead on arrival. Some of them knew that hence the reason for the ad hominem attacks.

It should be understood that Abduljabbar is fighting at least three battles at a time. Some years ago, he traded words with Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi of the Tijjaniyya Sufi order over the late Islamic reformer, late Sheikh Usman Danfodio. In the debate that lasted for months, Sheikh Dahiru undermined the status of Danfodio’s jihad while Sheikh Abduljabbar defended him. There, he bought a lot of foes for himself from the Tijjaniyya sect.

In a similar vein, Abduljabbar is at loggerheads with his elder brother, Sheikh Qaribullah Nasiru Kabara, and now the latter has consorted with all other forces trying to muzzle his half-brother.

There is also a gang of adherents of Salafism-Wahabism who felt that what others see as disrupting the status quo by challenging the veracity of some hadiths in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that at odds with the Holy Qur’an.

This class of Abduljabbar’s detractors are the most dangerous. They are disciples of Ibn Taymiyyah, a 7th Islamic century controversial scholar who despised veneration of saints and founder of the ideology most Jihadist groups globally are operating.

To them, whatever it takes to pull down a perceived enemy is worth doing. No matter what. For instance, on the issue of Abduljabbar, they started throwing vitriolic comments, then started publicly instigating their followers to kill Abduljabbar and now using government officials.

Recently, one of them was caught in a video clip that went viral on the internet asking his disciples to kill Sheikh Abduljabbar and according to him, any of them that lost his life while trying to execute that order dies a martyr. As mentioned earlier, they are dangerous.

The founder of the ideology they subscribe to, Ibn Taymiyyah, was a dissident that almost all his teachings don’t conform with the norm.

He, alongside his followers, believe that anyone who failed to follow what they preach is a heathen, a stance that midwife Boko Haram at home, ISIL in Iraq and Syria, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Sipah-e-Sahaba in Pakistan and the list goes on.

Now, they are conniving with some people they still believe are non-Muslims to fight Abduljabbar.

A common enemy has united them. Well, the marriage of convenience will not stand the taste of time.

From the government that is acting on the whims and caprices of some select few to the people lobbying for the government’s action on the Islamic scholars by shutting down all his centres, there is a need for them to understand that technology will never entertain that.

All they did was unknowingly turning Abduljabbar into a hero, whom people are now seeking to see or listen to ‘his heretical teachings’.

Indeed, this world is a funny place. A governor that was caught on video pant down stuffing kickback of contracts has now joined the bandwagon of those calling for censoring “the heretical teachings of Abduljabbar”, funnier the adherents of Ibn Taymiyyah are today leading the battle of victimizing a dissident. The battle is characterized with ironies. Whatever might be the case, Abduljabbar will succeed. Censorship can’t work in the 21st century. It just can’t work! If Ganduje hand’s isn’t chopped off, then something is amiss with the Sharia in Kano.

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